Sam Tutty: who is the new Dear Evan Hansen star?

The graduate will play the title role in the West End production of the Tony Award-winning musical

Sam Tutty
Sam Tutty
© Matt Crockett for Dewynters
Sam Tutty is playing the lead role in the West End production of Dear Evan Hansen, a new musical theatre talent about to make his professional debut in one of the most anticipated productions of the year.

So who is Sam Tutty?

At 21 years old, Tutty is a recent graduate of Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. He was born in Crawley, West Sussex, and later moved to Hull with his mum and brother (Tutty's father left when he was 10 years old) before joining the central London performing arts college.

He joins such alumni as Noël Coward, celebrities Sharon Osbourne and Russell Brand, performers Bonnie Langford, Claire Sweeney, Louise Redknapp and Martine McCutcheon, actors Lesley Manville, Leslie Phillips, Daniel Mays, Tracie Bennett, Patsy Kensit and Karen Gillan, singers Lee Ryan, Leona Lewis and Pixie Lott, and even supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Can you believe Sam even sang "Waving Through A Window" while at Italia Conti? Check out his performance below:

How did he get the part?

The show has been auditioning people for a number of months and even held open auditions at London's Pineapple Dance Studios and Manchester Dancehouse in February, after the two calls were announced via Jill Green Casting. The producers were also looking for the roles of Connor Murphy, Zoe Murphy, Jared Kleinman and Alana Beck.

Auditionees brought just 16 bars of sheet music, a CV and a photo:

Over 8,000 people showed up to audition for the title role, but it was Sam who eventually walked away with the prize. He didn't make it the first time he auditioned – his first ever professional audition – but was clearly successful after he returned more confident. 13 callbacks with the show's creative team later, he was flown to New York to see the show on Broadway before a final callback.

Even then, he didn't get the part directly – Sam was first cast as an alternate Evan, playing the part twice a week. But producer Stacey Mindich and director Michael Greif saw something in Tutty that kept them coming back.

So who else was cast?

Through the open auditions, recent graduates Lucy Anderson (from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts) and Doug Colling (from RADA) were cast as Zoe Murphy and Connor Murphy respectively, while Jack Loxton (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) will play Jared Kleinman and Nicole Raquel Dennis (Waitress) will be Alana Beck.

The five will be joined by Rebecca McKinnis, Lauren Ward and Rupert Young to form the core cast of eight.

David Breeds, Alex Thomas-Smith, Marcus Harman, Haydn Cox, Tricia Adele-Turner, Hannah Lindsey, Natalie Kassanga, Courtney Stapleton, James Winter and Mark Peachey will all play covers and alternates.

Back to Sam – has he performed in anything else?

He recently appeared in the British Theatre Academy production of Once On This Island at Southwark Playhouse, in the role of Daniel. Watch this video of Sam performing "Some Girls":

What else should I know about Dear Evan Hansen?

Dear Evan Hansen opens in the West End in November. It's written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, with a book by Steven Levenson. The original production opened in Washington before arriving on Broadway in 2016 and won six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Actor in a Musical for Ben Platt. Michael Greif directed the show, with orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, set from David Korins and projection designs by Peter Nigrini.

Tickets are currently on sale, booking until April 2020.

Buy tickets for Dear Evan Hansen through WhatsOnStage now